Potential Spy Devices Which Track Cellphones Found in D.C., Md., Va.
The News4 I-Team found dozens of the potential spy devices while driving around Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia. The technology can be as small as a suitcase, placed anywhere at any time, and it’s used to track cell phones and intercept calls. The News4 I-Team found dozens of potential spy devices while driving around Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.
The device, sometimes referred to by the brand name StingRay, is designed to mimic a cell tower and can trick your phone into connecting to it instead. The phone catchers can also be combined with other technology to listen-in or grab data from phones that are connected, Turner said. Turner said cell carriers can’t completely secure our phones because they have to allow for law enforcement access.
Plus, even the oldest phones must be able to reach 911, so low-tech vulnerabilities can’t be closed. The good news is about half the devices the I-Team found were likely law enforcement investigating crimes or our government using the devices defensively to identify certain cellphone numbers as they approach important locations, Turner said. You can’t control which tower your phone attaches to, Turner said, so you can’t avoid being caught by a device.
But you can protect your calls and texts by downloading free calling and texting apps that use encryption instead of using the standard ones that come installed on your cellphone, he said.